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SPF advancements you need to know about

SPF is your skin's greatest ally

Summer holidays abroad might be cancelled but wearing an SPF should absolutely not be, especially during this current heatwave. However, even if it’s not unprecedentedly hot, as long as it’s light out, those pesky skin cell damaging UV rays and infrared waves need to be stopped in their tracks.

‘Peaking between 11am and 3pm UVB rays penetrate the top layer of the skin and can cause sunburn and skin cancers. While, present throughout the day with the ability to even penetrate glass windows UVA impacts deeper levels of the skin and causing skin aging and pigmentation,’ explains Dr Hiva Fassihi, La Roche-Posay Consultant Dermatologist.

Recommending we all use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 and a three star UVA protection rating, Fassihi adds that in ‘the short term, sunscreens protect from painful sunburn. In the long term, they help prevent skin cancer and slow down premature skin-ageing ­­­­– making them important for skin health and the best youth boosting product you’ll use.’

But with 60 per cent of  us experiencing sunburn here in the UK, and not on holiday abroad – what’s putting us off protecting our skin with a daily dose of SPF? ‘Those with darker skin tones often find that sunscreens containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide leave a noticeable white cast on the skin, while those with acne prone, oily skin often find formulations are too greasy,’ explains Être Vous expert and Founder of Miriderma Clinic, Dr Sandra Gamper.

Thankfully over the last decade there have been major advancements in SPF formulations, with ground-breaking ingredients and delivery systems – all of which make wearing daily protection far easier and even more beneficial than ever before. Here are our top picks…

La Roche Posay Anthelios Age Correct SPF50, £25

An SPF fused with and active packed moisturiser, this protects and works to correct existing damage. All thanks to its high factor – 50 to be exact, and the inclusion of melanin inhibitor PHE-resorcinol, that stops the formation of sun spots. It doesn't stop there though as it also contains fragmented hyaluronic acid, that penetrates three times deeper than regular hyaluronic acid,  LHA an exfoliating derivative of salicylic acid and four per cent niacinamide, a pore-refining ingredient more likely to be found in a luxury face serum rather than a sun protection cream.

Murad City Skin Age Defense SPF 50, £60

According to Murad there are five main cause of visible ageing, and this SPF protects against all of them. The second skin formula contains potent antioxidants to protects the skin from blue light emitted from digital devices, a polymer matrix that blocks adhesion and penetration of toxic pollutants. Plus, traditional sunscreen ingredients zinc oxide & titanium oxide that offer UVA/UVB protection, while iron oxides, protects skin from infrared radiation and colour corrects to even tone with no ashy residue.

Brush on Block Mineral Powder Sunscreen SPF30, £40

An innovative alternative to traditional SPF’s, this mineral sunscreen comes in powder form making it easy to reapply even when wearing make-up. It's ideal for those with normal to oily complexions as it offers a matt finish whilst offering full protection against harmful UVA, UVB rays and blue light. Equally as notable is how it targets inflammageing – when environmental stressors trigger inflammation that leads to skin damage – by way of a blend of botanical extracts including chamomile, green tea and honeysuckle that all contain natural anti-inflammatory properties.

ZO Skin Health Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, £54.66

The name may suggest it’s a two in one skincare buy, but this is actually a triple threat. First and foremost, it protects the skin from UVA, UVB and high-energy visible light aka blue light. Then there’s a 12-hour, time-release antioxidant complex that guards against photodamage to prevent free radicals from running amuck and prematurely ageing your skin. And last by no mean least it acts as a primer, smoothing the skin and diminishing the appearance of fine lines to boot.

Sandra Gamper, Aesthetic Doctor

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